Title: It Happened at the Fair
Author: Deeanne Gist
It Happened at the Fair is Deeanne Gist’s latest historical romance. The story is set amidst the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. I have read all of this author’s prior historical romance stories and found them to be good, entertaining stories. This one doesn’t disappoint either.
Cullen McNamara has a secret only his parents know…he’s going deaf. He has worked on his father’s farm, but has allergies that make the work almost unbearable. He has a passion for inventing things, but doesn’t think he can make a living at it. He is prepared to be a miserable farmer, but doesn’t think he has a choice. Unbeknownst to him, his father sends away to the Chicago World’s Fair to obtain the site for an exhibition of one of Cullen’s inventions. At first, Cullen refuses to go. He soon learns that his father has already paid a lot of money toward accommodations and shipping costs that can’t be refunded, so Cullen reluctantly agrees to go. He will be gone for six months. His girl, Wanda, wants to set a wedding date before he leaves, but Cullen wants to wait. They part after arguing, and he leaves for Chicago. Cullen has failed trying out his invention before. Now, his father has amassed a great deal of debt to send him to the fair and he must make some sales or the farm will be lost. The only problem is that he is in the building designated for machinery and has a hard time hearing potential customers’ questions. He has heard about the school for the deaf at the fair and hopes to be tutored to lip-read quickly. He realizes Della is “the one”, but what is he going to do about Wanda?
Adelaide, or Della as everyone calls her, Wentworth is a teacher of deaf students. She has been trained in lip-reading and teaches this skill to her students. Cullen needs that skill and quickly. He pleads his case to her and she agrees to tutor him after her teaching job is over and while he acts as her escort to the various exhibits. Della has been warned by her father to be on the look-out for dishonest men who will take advantage of her. When she thinks she has discovered Cullen hasn’t been telling her the truth, she is crushed. She has fallen in love with him over the course of their months of tutoring, sight-seeing, and sharing of their lives with one another.
The descriptive words used to describe the displays and exhibits at the fair were great. The architecture, both on the inside and on the outside of the building must have been spectacular. The size and details of each exhibit are mind-boggling. This is an easy to read story with grief, deception, and forgiveness to name a few emotions. There are also actual pictures or artists’ renditions from the fair included at the beginning of almost every chapter to give the reader an idea of what some things actually looked like. The research and plethora of information that had to be sorted through by the author must have been a daunting task, but the end result of this story is worth it.
My rating is 4 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457